Danville council to talk Osage Park tree removal, business promotion grants

Second budget workshop also on tap for morning meeting

The Danville Town Council is set to consider a proposal to remove 17 trees from Osage Station Park as well as review applications for $50,000 available in town business promotion grants Tuesday morning.

The discussions are scheduled to take part in addition to the council members' second study session on the town's draft operating budget for next fiscal year. The meeting will get underway at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Danville town offices at 510 La Gonda Way.

The council will begin by deciding whether to approve a contract with Orinda-based Expert Tree Service for $33,000, plus a 5% contingency, to remove 17 ash trees along the western perimeter of Osage Station Park near the south parking lot.

Town officials recommend removing the trees because of past and potential future damage to adjacent properties, according to Jed Johnson, Danville's maintenance services director. Osage Station Park is located on Brookside Drive near Charlotte Wood Middle School.

In other business, the council will also review 13 applications from local businesses, organizations and nonprofits competing for grants available through the town government's business promotion funds program.

Town officials typically make up to $50,000 in grants available, but town staff recommends the council consider appropriating $54,500 for the 2016-17 fiscal year among two grant categories, according to Jill Bergman, town economic development manager.

In the first grant category, the town offers up to $30,000 for a single, cohesive marketing strategy that reaches Danville's target audiences that has the greatest content levels, that utilizes a combination of communication tools beyond the traditional print channels and that takes advantage of the "Shop Danville First" website as the marketing hub.

The only applicant for the cohesive marketing grant was the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce, which requested $30,000 for its year-round integrated marketing campaign. Bergman recommends approval.

Danville officials also support $24,500 total in smaller grants to nine applicants primarily for advertising and marketing related to 12 events or programs, such as the chamber's Art & Wine Stroll, Museum of the San Ramon Valley exhibits, Rakestraw Books' "Where's Waldo in Danville" event and Consignit Couture's "It's for the Danville Kids" pilot program, Bergman said.

The town has typically made up to $20,000 available in this category for smaller grants to support efforts promoting the Danville business community, she added.

The council will also hold its second public workshop on the draft 2016-17 budget recommended by town staff. The first study session occurred last week.

The draft budget forecasts almost $34.7 million in revenues, including about $24.1 million in general fund revenues, an increase of 2.1%. Danville staff recommends $31.4 million in expenditures in the draft budget, including almost $21.2 million in general fund spending.

It also calls for more than $8.8 million in appropriations for capital improvement projects, plus almost $5.2 million carried over from ongoing projects from past years. The project list includes the new Rose Street parking lot downtown, regular pavement maintenance, expanding the Sycamore park-and-ride lot and renovations at the town offices.

The draft budget includes an operating reserve of about $11.1 million, or 36.8% of the recommended operating budget for 2016-17.

The council expects to have two more public budget workshops this month before considering final budget adoption June 7.

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